From The Heart is our look at the achievement of that standard over the nine months that transpired since Impossible Dream. It is manifested in Shane and Oliver's nearly flawless working relationship, and the fluidity with which they react to, and support, each other throughout From The Heart.
Rita and Norman played an important role in highlighting how Shane and Oliver have grown into their working, and even personal, relationship with one another.
The assessment started early as Rita attempted to probe Shane about her apparent ire towards the approaching holiday, and reaffirm the obvious chemistry between Shane and Oliver.
Unbeknownst to Shane, her attempt to deny the chemistry only served to reinforce it. Shane's use of email paired with Oliver's penchant for letter writing, her tendency to binge watch on her iPad and his desire to visit the library, are the complimentary aspects that allow them to work so effectively together.
Just as Shane and Oliver naturally compliment each other, they have also learned to grow together, first revealed through the following declaration:
"Chemistry does not a romance make, Rita."
Shane's subsequent correction of Rita's use of a preposition at the end of a sentence is additional proof that she has not only adopted Oliver's grammar rules, but also his sentence structure. As Norman correctly pointed out, her use of "hence" signals Shane has picked up Oliver's unique vocabulary as well.
Where Shane would usually correct Oliver's cynicism in certain situations, Oliver gets the chance to do the same for Shane when speaking with Norman at the Mailbox Grille. Oliver not only calls Shane on her bleak assessment of the Valentine's holiday, he re-frames the conversation. Instead of allowing the idea of Valentine's day as a way to "pressure men into taking you to a nice restaurant and tell you they can't live without you" to stand, he recognizes it as an "opportunity to [pursue] a mutual interest," and converse about the "multi-faceted nature of love as defined by the Greeks." Oliver delivered a flawlessly equal and opposite response. I don't know how much more in-tune two people can be!
Having items appropriate to, and adequate for, the task at hand is crucial in any work place. For most, pencils, pens and staplers are the most critical implements. In the DLO, that critical item, at least for the Section Lead, is Yoo Hoo.
Shane's secret stash at the Mailbox Grille definitely qualifies as "saying 'I love you' without actually saying [it]." And, in many ways, it's a modified extension of her House Rule. Shane has learned to not only value [despite sometimes ruing] the wait, she has started to prepare for after the relationship comes to be by finding this little way to take care of him in the meantime.
Two other moments confirmed that Shane and Oliver are not only rubbing off on one another, they are becoming more sensitive to each other as well.
Shane may have Googled with less, but the pieces she put together about Ryan reminded me of another mail recovery expert with keen instincts I know. And, funny enough, she even managed to "astonish" that same expert in the process. Just another subtle nod to Shane and Oliver's increasing closeness, while still having much to learn about one another.
I don't think it's a shock when I say Shane and Oliver desperately need to find the courage within themselves to directly address their relationship when necessary. Granted, perhaps because of Oliver's divorce and convictions to abstain from the appearance of impropriety, some of those kinds of conversations were off limits for a time. But the game has changed---and if they have any hope of successfully navigating their raft down the river, communication and vulnerability will be required.
While Shane and Oliver have, as any colleagues do, areas where improvement is needed, they have come an incredibly long way that will only make their relationship that much more enjoyable to watch as they work through the kinks!
Work together? They sure do!
P.S. I have hidden a link to watch From The Heart online somewhere inside this post. Finding it will be your reward---so click everything!